...but even more that you would prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues ("languages"), unless he interprets so that the church may be strengthened." 1 Cor 14:5
"I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you, but in the church I want to speak five words with my mind to instruct others, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue." 1 Corinthians 14:18, 19
"What should you do then, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each one has a song, has a lesson, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all these things be done for the strengthening of the church. If someone speaks in a tongue, it should be two, or at the most three, one after the other, and someone must interpret. But if there is no interpreter, he should be silent in the church. Let him speak to himself and to God." 1 Corinthians 14:26-28
“But you should be eager for the greater gifts. And now I will show you a way that is beyond comparison.” ~1 Corinthians 12:31 NET
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. ” — 1 Corinthians 13:1, 2
Since I was saved in 1997 I have been to many different churches of many different denominations. One of the more insulting churches were those that propagated the doctrine that speaking in tongues is evidence of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Many churches and people repeat this teaching even though I have found the Bible disproves this claim in many ways. Often the people who espouse this doctrine fall under the category of "Pentecostal".
Why do I consider this doctrine insulting? Because I know they are wrong. The Scriptures do not teach what they teach. And I know when I was born again, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit because that is one and the same event. Jesus, when speaking to Nicodemas about becoming born again, He said, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit." John 3:5, 6. Jesus is talking about THE two births. ONE - flesh. TWO - Spirit (John 1:13). Jesus nor ANYONE have ever taught a two-fold salvation message. Or that we become saved and THEN receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
"He that is joined to the Lord is ONE SPIRIT." (1 Corinthians 6:17) Either we are "joined to the Lord" or we are "none of His" (Romans 8:9). We are either a child of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit (whereby we cry, Abba, Father!), or we are illegitimate children, children of disobedience and counterfeit. The most essential event we need to take place in our lives is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The POWER from on High. The promise of the Father. The proof to ourselves of Christ's resurrection, so that we can properly be His witnesses.
GIFTS of the Spirit are separate and are additions to becoming born again. And it may not be obvious for a long time what gift we have. Especially when there is so much confusion in the Christian realm with the many false doctrines and believers spreading incorrect man-made doctrines..
This doctrine of speaking in tongues as evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is a man-made doctrine. Did you know that? The man's name who came up with this teaching was Charles Fox Parham. It wasn't until 1900 that this man began teaching this new doctrine!
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all [persons]. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another [various] kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills."
1 Corinthians 12:27-31 says, "Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, [various] kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not [workers of] miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way." (NASB)
So why the focus on tongues? Paul says right here that tongues is on the lower level of spiritual gifts, and then he says "All do not speak with tongues. do they?" which obviously means, no, not all speak with tongues! That is why I find this doctrine insulting. Because its insulting and contrary to divine reasoning (logikos).
Did Jesus speak in tongues?
Or did Jesus (or anyone) say that "speaking in tongues is evidence of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit"? No He didn't. Jesus may have spoken in tongues. But that is only if you want to use the literal translation of "tongues" which is synonymous with "languages". Jesus spoke in several languages that we know of. Although we know He created ALL languages (tongues).
I began thinking about this more as I was listening to the gospel of Mark on CD this morning in my vehicle. It said, the Spirit of God fell upon Him (Jesus) like a dove.... I noticed how it didn't say, "and He spoke in tongues.." That was curiously absent. I then began thinking about what Jesus said would happen when the Holy Spirit DID fall upon us. He simply said, "...you shall be endued with power from on high." and "...ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8)
When I was saved this is exactly what happened. I was washed in the blood of Jesus, cleansing my soul of all sin. Then, being I was cleansed of sin I was a vessel that the Lord was now able to dwell in, and I invited the Lord into my heart and that happened.
I felt Him come in and I "..received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Rom 8:15) Although the bible doesn't teach us to pray those exact words (ie "come into my heart Lord Jesus"), but the Bible certainly tells us that Christ and the Father by the Spirit will come into our bodies and dwell in our hearts and continue His work. He said, "and greater works shall ye do..." Why did He say that? Because He knew His physical body would soon be departing and be joining the Father. But He stated that He would come to us. (John 14:18)
And these "greater works" were made manifest right after Pentecost, through His disciples and especially the apostle Paul. And Paul talked briefly about this doctrine of speaking in tongues. But Paul said there was something so much more important. And that is agape - love through obedience to God. When you study God's Word by yourself without the influence of a church teaching, there is so much liberty and joy there.
Jesus stressed the fact that the Holy Spirit would be our guide in learning about Him.
"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever--" John 14:16
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you."John 14:26
"When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father--the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father--He will testify about Me." John 15:26
"But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." John 16:7
"However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come." John 16:13
"Now as for you, the anointing that you received from him resides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as it has taught you, you reside in him." 1 John 2:27
And all the apostles and authors of Scripture confirm this fact. The church is supposed to be made up of disciples of Christ, first. Then we can gather together with other believers and learn and/or share and be edified. But we have to be striving for God on our own every day. Dedicating our lives to Jesus every day. Giving Him our whole heart and mind.
Paul said speaking in tongues is wonderful. But that prophesying is BETTER. But Paul also says not everyone will speak in tongues. Even after they have been born anew of the Spirit.
I would really separate myself from anyone who is pushing this false doctrine on me. I have learned after 20 years of being born anew, that they are WRONG.
Ask yourself, examine yourself. Were you ever converted. Were you sealed with the Holy Spirit, eternal life, made a son or daughter of the Most High God through Joshua, the Anointed One?
Because the baptism in the Holy Spirit IS SALVATION. It's not an ADDED gift to salvation. Salvation is POWERFUL. Its being made a whole new creation in Messiah Yeshua! It's the power to make you overcome the world. The Power to cause you to conduct your lives in a holy manner. And we HAVE to be sanctified by the Spirit. That is when God purges the impurities out of us. The Spirit is the beauty within us. The excess needs to go. And that is a process we MUST go through as children of God. THAT is being baptised in fire. We either do it now, or we spend an eternity in that fire. Charles Fox Parham also taught annihilationism, by the way. Another false doctrine that the Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses and many other sects (cults) teach.
Many proponents of the doctrine that we must speak in tongues as evidence that we have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit erroneously point to the second chapter of Acts where God fulfilled His promise to the disciples when He told them to tarry in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father, the power from on high. Speaking in tongues wasn't the prevalent result of this fulfilled promise, but a subsequent result. And was for a very specific purpose. So that the people who were gathered there could "...HEAR them speak in [their] tongues (glóssa, dialektos) the wonderful works of God." Acts 2:11
So what's the purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Again, to receive power and be witnesses of the mighty and wonderful works of God through Christ (Messiah). To be the actual mouthpiece of God who dwells within those of us who are saved. Again, Paul expounds on this in the 14th Chapter of 1 Corinthians when he says, "... I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." 1 Cor 14:19
God shows us the importance of words from the very beginning when God spoke the world into existance. (Gen 1, John 1, Heb 1) One must be born again to be able to properly witness. To do as God and build upon an earthen vessel who is void and darkness is over the face of the deep. With WORDS. I have found many who aren't saved try and do this and they are the definition of "Bad fruit" and have also only produced Bad fruit and are a result of Bad fruit.
Then we will have many at the other extreme of this who say very scary things like it's satanic or a manifestation of satan when people say they speak in tongues. THAT is extremely fearful to me when I hear that. These same people usually often espouse the belief that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased and are no more. Again, people are twisting the graphé (written word) of God when they say things like that.
As we read all the verses in the whole bible in regards to speaking in tongues one verse sticks out to me, "Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues." 1 Cor 14:39 Was this direction only for the time period of the book of Acts? No, because the bible also tells us, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" 2 Tim 3:16 And Jesus stated, "...It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matt 4:4
In the past when I've heard people speaking in tongues, I have thought that they were faking. But I believe that if they were faking it was because of the oppressive denomination they are part of which bashes everyone repeatedly with the doctrine that you are seriously lacking what you need to be in the ministry if you haven't spoken in tongues. This then makes a whole different religion and indoctrination and is not the result of God and the Holy Spirit working in their lives.
The proof of a ministry is the fact that you acknowledge that you have power to "go and sin no more". In other words, that you can now walk in all the ways of the Lord in keeping the commandments. That comes first. Witnessing comes second. Because how can you be a true witness if you're not "walking the walk". Other wise you're just "talking the talk" See? Even worldy people know this!
"And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 2 Timothy 2:5-7
I have been to some of these churches where MANY are "speaking in tongues" (I use quotes because I don't know if they really are or not). But Paul stated, "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course (one at a time!); and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God." (1 Cor 14:27, 28) I recommend reading the whole 14th chapter of 1 Corinthians.
It's just another unfortunate doctrine which further divides Christians and those seeking God. The Baptists have their doctrines pushed by John Smyth which stated, "Antichristians converted are to be admitted into the true Church by [water] baptism." (Source), The Seventh Day Adventists their Sabbath doctrine and many other views from Ellen G White, Pentecostals their Tongues doctrine from Charles Fox Parham, and Calvinists their many Doctrines from John Calvin. Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS) lie which was created by "Saint" Augustine of Hippo. And the list goes on and on. I haven't found one "church" that doesn't have something like this. Another one is this "God is love doctrine" which states God doesn't care what you do really, you know, He forgives you no matter what .. etc etc Ah but that is also embraced throughout many of these churches I have mentioned. Except maybe the Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, which is again the extreme opposite and damn everyone to hell. So we are truly in perilous times.
"And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things." Mark 13:20-23
I know the people who are indoctrinated into a particular denomination will have a lot of arguments in regard to this message I have written. I have heard it all time and time again. I've been saved since 1997 and have been very active in evangelism and have heard it all. I will not now or ever be persuaded to throw in my lot with you and these polarizing views. Ha! Which also makes my view polarizing. Who is right and who is wrong? Well, show me the Bible verses that clearly prove your teaching without having to use several vague and indirect verses on the issue, and maybe I would consider. But lo, there aren't any and as I've said, I've heard them all and have done my research. This is why I wouldn't be accepted into most churches. Because I do not believe in these specific doctrines that have split them into their own denomination in the first place. And I wouldn't compromise and desire to be there anyway.
When I was saved I knew I received the power from on high and I became a witness. God gave me a testimony of His mercy and His reality through the instant deliverance of my soul from all satanic bondages. He gave me utterance. He gave me faith. He gave me the revelation that His word was from Him. He gave me the understanding of the coming judgment and the second coming of Christ. He gave me the understanding of these things. And the reality of them. I knew I wasn't lacking anything from God except the all important experience of living the Christian life. And there is such a thing, although I have been verbally assaulted for espousing this simple truth that, Yes, we are to LIVE a Christian life. We are "new creatures" in Christ. A New Creation, New Man, given a New Spirit. Old things have passed away and "all things are become new." We have a new Word within us. Even our language has changed. It is the Christian language of God speaking of Himself through us.
Jesus said you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. He didn't say I must speak in tongues to enter the kingdom of God. Show me a verse that says, "Speaking in tongues is the evidence that you have been baptised in the Holy Spirit" or "You shall speak in tongues after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you". It's simply not in the Bible. Therefore those who say such things hinder souls from entering into God's Truth and they stumble souls and are in serious error and in serious trouble with God. Because they are adding to the Word of God and what does God say about that? Revelation 22:18-19 Read it yourself. And don't trust that because there are many around you who espouse the same thing, that this somehow makes it okay. Jesus said "Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it." (Matt 7:13). Following church doctrine and not seeking God with all your heart is building your house upon sand. God said, "Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:" Matt 7:24-27. But many are not doing what God says. They're doing what their cult/sect says...
So again, the evidence of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit are those who have received power and are true witnesses of God, speaking sound doctrines and not fabrications. Those who walk in holiness, for without, no man shall see God. Heb 12:14
Thank you for reading. And may God richly bless you through the revelation of Himself through His Word. Amen.
From wiki:The earliest date given for the beginning of the Pentecostal movement is January 1, 1901, the date Charles Parham began teaching that speaking in tongues was the biblical sign of the Holy Spirit's baptism at his Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas."
It always comes down to this doesn't it? There's always some man or woman behind the beginning of a movement. I see them all as religious cults and nothing more!
May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you all, Amen.
You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. Thank you, God, for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen."